FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Rodney Shepard and Laura Andress have been named to newly created positions that focus on the experiences of both its customers and associates.
Shepard, previously president and CEO for Arvest in Fort Smith and the River Valley, will serve as the Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO), effective Jan. 1. In his new role, Shepard will be responsible for maintaining a strong relationship between Arvest and its customers, and managing the overall day-to-day experience for customers and associates. Specifically, he will work with management at all levels to maintain a consistent, customer-first mentality across the bank’s physical and digital channels.
Andress, currently executive director of group human resources, will assume the title of Chief People Officer (CPO) on Jan. 1. Among other duties, Andress will be responsible for developing and executing a human resource plan of action in support of Arvest’s strategic direction. Andress will work specifically in the areas of succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, training and development, benefits and compensation, and associate communication.
Shepard has been with Arvest Bank for more than 25 years, and is being replaced as president and CEO in Fort Smith and the River Valley by Roger Holroyd. Shepard earned an associate degree at Carl Albert Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in management at Northeastern State University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU and the Mid South School of Banking at Christian Brothers University.
Shepard currently is a member of the board of directors for Mercy Health Fort Smith Communities, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Foundation, the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club, and also serves on the Community Bankers Council for the American Bankers Association. Among other civic endeavors, he is a past chairman of the board for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, has worked on behalf of the United Way, the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Society, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, and was presented the Carl Albert State College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. Shepard and his wife, Lisa, live in Fort Smith and have two children.
Andress joined Arvest in 2004 – following 13 years as an attorney and partner at a Fayetteville law firm – to become director of group human resources. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a law degree at the University of Arkansas. During her time as an attorney, Andress was licensed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
As director and executive director of human resources at Arvest, Andress has been charged with managing risk and building programs to develop talent and increase communication and associate engagement across the organizational footprint. Andress lives in Springdale and has two children.